COVID-19: Convicted drug trafficker with ties to Kelowna's chapter of the Hells Angels points to pandemic to put off deportation - InfoNews

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COVID-19: Convicted drug trafficker with ties to Kelowna's chapter of the Hells Angels points to pandemic to put off deportation

Members of the Hells Angels arrive for a national gathering, August 10, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
June 29, 2020 - 3:16 PM

A convicted drug trafficker with ties to Kelowna's chapter of the Hells Angels has managed to delay deportation to his birthplace a little longer.

David Roger Revell has repeatedly lost his battle to stay in Canada and avoid being shipped off to England, but the pandemic saved him in the 11th hour. He successfully applied to the federal court for an order staying the execution of a deportation order set for June 23.

Revell requested a Deferral of Removal until “the curve of infection recedes in the UK (United Kingdom) to a level that permits the UK to withdraw its quarantine order.”

Revell argued that being kicked out of Canada at this time would infringe his rights protected under section 7 and section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The UK has been one of the countries most affected by COVID-19,” reads the decision postered on June 22.

“Due to the quarantine order in force, (Revell) will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days in the UK or face a £1,000 fine.” 

Revell told the court he simply does not have the funds to pay for a hotel, or the delivery of food therein.

Also, he’s said he has no family or other support system in the UK, and no place to live: apart from a brief 10-day visit in 1990, the Applicant has never returned to the UK.

“His entire family, including his common law partner, his children, his siblings and his grandchildren reside in Canada,” reads the court decision.

“In other words, (Revell) will be fully uprooted from Canada and expected to reinstall alone, with limited funds, in the UK in the midst of a global pandemic.”

Revell said that if he was deported it would put his life, liberty and security and risk and he would be irreparably harmed and the court agreed.

“It is one thing to re-establish oneself in a country (he)” does not know, it is quite another to do so when the world has been turned upside-down by COVID-19,” Federal Court Judge Michel Shore wrote. “This context would most certainly lead to grave peril for (Revell) and, perhaps, others in his midst if his quarantine is not respected due to such proposed air travel and waystations where he may find himself."

Shore also found that the evidence available to him didn’t indicate that Revell was an imminent danger to the public in Canada or to be a flight risk.

“Clearly, the personal harm that would be inflicted upon him if he is removed to the UK far outweighs any public interest that might be involved in his removal from Canada at this time, recognizing the immediately current statistics of COVID-19 cases in the UK and number of fatalities,” Shore said in the decision.

If Revell is eventually deported, it will only be when medical specialist professionals in epidemiology deem it safe and it will be contingent on Revell’s underlying application for Judicial Review.

The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Revell's request for a review of a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board that found him "inadmissible to Canada" because of serious criminality in October 2019.

Revell, who immigrated to Canada in 1974 at the age of 10, has lived in Canada as a permanent resident and has never applied for Canadian citizenship. The 55-year-old argued that leaving Canada could cause him exceptional psychological harm that would be grossly disproportionate to his crimes, ultimately violating his Charter rights.

Judge Yves de Montigny rejected these arguments, however, saying that apart from the fact that he will leave behind his three adult children, his grandchildren and his partner, and that he is a foreigner in England, Revell has not demonstrated any particular circumstances that would go beyond the consequences typical of a dismissal.

Revell was charged in 2008 with possessing cocaine for the purposes of trafficking, committing that offence at the direction of or in association with a criminal group, and trafficking cocaine.

"The charges followed an investigation into the activities of the East End Hells Angels chapter in Kelowna," reads the de Montigny's decision.

"The appellant was ultimately found guilty of the drug possession and drug trafficking charges, and was acquitted of the criminal organization charge. The appellant was sentenced to five years in prison, and was released on parole once eligible."

Deportation talks started after another conviction in 2013.

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